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April 3, 2014

New Metric Changes How Display Ad Impressions Are Calculated

By Karen J. Bannan

The Media Rating Council (MRC) on March 31 announced it had lifted its advisory on Viewable Impressions for display advertising, part of its Viewable Impressions Guidelines draft. This move is part of a larger Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) initiative founded by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the Association of National Advertisers, and the Interactive Advertising Bureau. For its part, the MRC is responsible for setting and implementing measurement standards.

By lifting the advisory advertisers, agencies, and websites finally have a single, unified way to measure display impressions. It should instantly change the way people use social media for marketing since it won’t be enough to simply drive people to web content anymore.

Under the proposed guidelines, “50 percent of [an ad’s] pixels must be in the viewable portion of an internet browser for a minimum of one continuous second to qualify as a viewable display impression,” according to the MRC. This will shift the way impressions are quantified. It disrupts the status quo of online marketing and changes the way that marketers and IT must create, launch, measure and analyze integrated display and social campaigns.

For example, publishers who use social media to drive additional page views will need to make sure content is compelling enough to make people stick around for more than a second and work on ways to reduce bounce rate. In addition, pages may need to be redesigned to load quickly so content doesn’t slow down ad rendering – and vice versa.

and publishers are expected to phase in the new guidelines immediately. A separate set of guidelines for measuring video impressions is expected to take effect by June 30, 2014.

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